Don’t stay silent.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which first began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a Day of Unity to connect battered women’s advocates across the country.

In the Old Mill District, we’re flying purple flags on our footbridge to help raise awareness and show our support for Saving Grace, a Bend non-profit that provides comprehensive family violence and sexual assault services and promotes the value of living life free from violence.

Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes — it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It’s stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it.

Nearly three out of four Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Now is time to take a stand. Support survivors and speak out against domestic violence all month long.

If you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner violence, sexual assault, or sexual violence — Saving Grace can help. Call their 24-hour hotline, 541-389-7021.

One of Saving Grace’s key services is Mary’s Place, a safe and neutral location for parents needing exchange monitoring without having direct contact with each other. Here’s the “Tran Clan” telling their story about how helpful Mary’s Place has been for them.